Marie hadn’t been a quadriplegic her entire life; the water-skiing accident had created her new existence for her, momentarily flipping her body and her world upside down and putting her in harm’s way as she headed toward the boat and a new existence at an insane velocity; destiny approaching, hurtling towards her at life-changing speed.

Now some months later she was beginning to see the possibility of a life ahead of her, something that might just have value after all, although being honest she was having difficulty seeing that future as she sat frustratedly on the floor trying to dress herself.

“Get a grip, Marie!” she said to herself as she pulled the zipper up with her teeth and used what remained of her torn and battered ligaments to wiggle herself into her outfit, the same outfit she’d been wearing for almost a week now – why couldn’t she just buy more of them and be done with it instead of pretending that she’d just wash it when she got a chance?

It wasn’t that Marie didn’t like shopping – far from it, it was having to deal with all of the strange, uncomfortable looks from passers by, the nervous disposition of the shop assistants – not sure whether they should ask her if she needed help or leave her to her independent self.

The bottom line, rationalized Marie, was that people found her awkward, and that made them feel awkward; she resolved to form the opinion that in fact it was they that had the problem and not her, and with that thought she headed out into the brand new day – it was time for some retail therapy.



Lillie McFerrin